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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2020

Coronavirus

PPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

Personal protective equipment is vital, photo (public domain)

Personal protective equipment is vital, photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

The guidelines we follow on use of PPE have changed dramatically during this pandemic. At first we were told we must wear full PPE for every patient suspected of having Covid 19. Since then the guidelines have changed repeatedly. Clearly, this has not been because they are 'listening to the science'. It is being driven by budgets and the lack of stock.

When the Tories realised how many people would be hospitalised the 'science' changed. So it's now OK to wear flimsy aprons when treating patients with the most infectious virus we have ever experienced!

We have pulled out everything we have to get through the weekend. Used gowns and the higher quality masks have been saved from intensive care. This is unprecedented, and risks staff becoming contaminated. And we are still unsure how to decontaminate them. Even the hazmat suits have come out of storage, as any coverall is better than none.

Local people don't just bring chocolate and hand cream. They make us visors, hats and masks. But the news that the gowns are not coming after all is devastating. It's not safe for us or our patients, and clinicians are making some very tough decisions on treatment.

The lack of gowns at Southampton has become critical. It means I can't relieve staff attending long theatre cases because they need full PPE, and there's not enough for more than one radiographer. So one of my colleagues worked right through, without food or water, only getting out at nearly 8pm. Also, intensive care had to borrow our only specialist mask because they had run out.

I just feel so bloody angry that my colleagues are being thrown under the bus!

Many of us will never get over the cruelty of this disease, and the cruelty of a system that puts getting business up and running ahead of saving lives.

An NHS health professional

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 21 April 2020:


Frontline workers speak out

Where's our PPE? Where's our testing? Where's our money?

London bus drivers' action over safety stops front door boarding

Care homes coronavirus scandal: blood on their hands

PPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

Trade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Management tells carers PPE would 'worry' residents

Councils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

More dispatches from the front: 'There are so many more patients dying'


World economy

World economic crisis: A Marxist approach to the coronavirus crunch


Workplace news

No 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

DWP: Action on workers' safety, and protection of pay and conditions needed

JD Sports: Shut up shop and give us full pay!

RMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

Bromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!


Lenin at 150

Lenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas to today's working-class struggles


Coronavirus news

National plan for testing needed

Capitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

Tory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Shocking increase in domestic violence killings

US private healthcare system in meltdown

Coronavirus news in brief


Workplace safety

The history of struggle to make the workplace safe


Campaigns

Excellent support for Socialist Party special appeal

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Clapping, driving, postering - for workers' rights

The role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

Policies that really protect the NHS

Coronavirus: Students' charter

Socialism the Podcast: What do our listeners think?


Readers' opinion

Covid-19 patient speaks out: fantastic support from under-resourced health workers

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


 

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Related links:

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Bus:

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